House Democrats are racing to clinch a deal on a package of police funding and safety bills, with hopes of passing them before they leave town for the August recess on Friday, according to two sources familiar.
A source told CNN a deal between the moderate wing and the Congressional Black Caucus is “very close,” with another saying the negotiators are “getting close” to a deal. Another source said that Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, the chair of the CBC, was heading to a meeting in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on Thursday evening to see if they could get it done.
Meanwhile, the House Rules Committee met Thursday night on an “emergency measure” to give themselves same-day authority to bring the gun package up Friday if a deal comes together.
Punchbowl News was the first to report on the last-minute effort to reach a deal before recess.
Moderate and vulnerable Democrats have been been pushing for a vote before they leave town in an effort to rebut GOP attacks on Democrats over defunding the police, but members of the CBC had concerns and have been pushing for accountability language. Democrats are also pushing for a vote on an assault weapons ban that could be unlocked once they agree to the policing package.
When it looked like a deal wasn’t going to come together earlier this week, Pelosi initially said they would keep working on the issue and come back in August to address it. Sources tell CNN both sides continued to talk after the package was pulled, trying to come to a final agreement.
Democratic leadership was hoping to pass the bills before the August recess, when lawmakers are scheduled to be in their home states for six weeks. But even if the legislation passed the House, it would go nowhere in the Senate where 60 votes are needed to break the filibuster and there aren’t enough votes for that with a 50-50 split in the Senate.
Earlier this year, Congress passed a bipartisan bill to address gun violence that amounted to the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades. The legislation included millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. It also made significant changes to the process when someone ages 18 to 21 goes to buy a firearm and closes the so-called boyfriend loophole, a victory for Democrats, who have long fought for that.
CNN’s Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.